Rock Paper Scissors – Market Decision Making

March 22, 2010

“The key to good decision making is not knowledge. It is understanding. We are swimming in the former. We are desperately lacking in the latter.”
Malcolm Gladwell (Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking)




CMO’s are facing one of the most difficult decision making climates in generations. While some think there is an analogy to the book the Perfect Storm, a sequence of powerful forces converging to create a momentary disastrous environment. I posit that this is the new reality in marketing decision making – a highly fluid, highly reactive, highly charged atmosphere.

This isn’t a bad thing, challenges can drive elevation creativity, performance and results. In surveying the challenges for CMO’s in 2010 for a recent presentation, it became clear that creating the space to elevate performance in this market is going to be very difficult for four reasons:

  1. No Gravity
  2. Constant Conflict
  3. Tactical Engagement
  4. Managing by Measurement


One of my early mentors had a string of unique, folksy, down home analogies that he applied to the dynamically changing telecommunications environment